Foundations of Psychology

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Course Date: 11 August 2014 to 09 September 2014

Price: free

Course Summary

One of the reasons we want to understand human nature is so we can help people with psychological disorders. This course lays a foundation for understandings and further study in psychology. You will learn how psychologists go about conceptualising and studying human nature, and how the brain works to produce thoughts, emotions and complex behaviour. We'll also look closely at how psychologists approach the diagnosis and treatment of the ‘common colds’ of psychopathology – anxiety and mood disorders.

Course Instructors

Andrew Francis

Andrew is an academic and practicing psychologist (and medical herbalist) with more than 25 years of experience in the field. He is Associate Professor in Psychology at RMIT University, in the School of Health Sciences.His approach to psychology is integrative and holistic, with teaching and research interests primarily in the sub-disciplines of Behavioural Neuroscience and Psychopathology. Specific interests and current projects include drug use behaviour, mental health and wellness, sleep and shift-work, complementary-alternative medicine, nature experience and wellness, spirituality, resilience and health.

Course Description

What's it about?

One of the reasons we want to understand human nature is so we can help people with psychological disorders. This course lays a foundation for understandings and further study in psychology.

One of the reasons we want to understand human nature is so we can help people with psychological disorders. This course lays a foundation for understandings and further study in psychology.

You will learn how psychologists go about conceptualising and studying human nature, and how the brain works to produce thoughts, emotions and complex behaviour. We'll also look closely at how psychologists approach the diagnosis and treatment of the ‘common colds’ of psychopathology – anxiety and mood disorders.

What's involved?

Module 1Beginning with Psychology
8 videos, 6 quizzes, 1 assessment11 Aug - 17 Aug
Module 2The Biological Framework for Human Behaviour
9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment18 Aug - 24 Aug
Module 3Understanding and Diagnosing Psychopathology
8 videos, 7 quizzes, 1 assessment25 Aug - 31 Aug
Module 4Depression and Anxiety Disorders
10 videos, 9 quizzes, 1 assessment1 Sep - 7 Sep

What will I learn?

  • What psychology is essentially about
  • The basic philosophical and conceptual foundations of psychology, such as:
    • The mind-body issue
    • The biopsychosocial perspective
  • The structure and functions of neurones, the smallest functional element of the nervous system, and how they communicate with each other
  • The broad structural and functional organisation of the nervous system as a whole, and the important features which allow for complex behaviours to occur in humans
  • The general approach that psychologists take to understand abnormal behaviour, including:
    • How they classify mental disorders
    • The essential diagnostic approach
  • The basic processes involved in experiencing and then coping with stress, and what happens when our coping strategies fail
  • What anxiety and mood disorders are, including:
    • The various subtypes
    • Their general prevalence (epidemiology)
    • How they are diagnosed and treated

This course requires approximately 2 - 4 hours of study per week, but can vary depending on the student. This includes watching videos, and taking quizzes and assessments. The total video time for this course is approximately 3 hours 22 minutes.

If you pass this course you'll receive a Certificate of Achievement. While this certificate isn't a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions.

Where to from here?

If you love this course, why not take your studies further? Here are some accredited qualifications that could help you achieve your goals.

Where could this lead me?

If you're wondering what your future could look like in this area, here are some potential careers you could head towards.

  • Social worker

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